Yes, yes – wholeheartedly YES!
Get your reluctant or struggling reader an ereader! My son is dyslexic and I’ve found the Kindle to be great for these reasons:
1. The child cannot see the thickness of a book. My son will not even pick up a title if it looks too long. When he is convinced to try a longer story he will often thrown it down in disgust. “I’ll never finish this book.”
2. You can download samples of all the Kindle titles for free first and give them a test run. You can do this to on your computer or phone. No money wasted.
3. The number of words per page can be changed with the font sizer. Again, like in item #1, my son will quickly reject a book after looking at the numbers of words per page. It could be at a level far under is skill , but he can’t handle a full page of small text.
Here is a shot of a book at a reading level my son can handle.
Don’t you agree that this looks less intimidating?
4. The student’s friends can’t see what book they are reading. If they are in 7th grade and still reading Junie B Jones – no one will know. All the other kids see is a cool gadget.
5. The text to speech function of the Kindle is pretty good. It is a robotic sounding voice at the moment, but it will get better. You can also play audio books on the Kindle 3. NOTE – some of the less expensive Kindles do not have the text to speech feature.
6. More and more graphic novels are being made available for Kindle. I feel these types of books work well with kids with reading difficulties because they give visual clues to the text on the page. It helps them figure things out. (Please go click the Captain Underpants and Diary of a Wimpy Kid ‘I want this on Kindle’ buttons.)
7. http://www.Bookshare.org is a great resource for people with print disabilities. I think this can be used with a Kindle or app and bring lots of great material to kids for free.
8. I can easily set my kitchen timer for my son to read his allotted 20 or 30 minutes and he is not distracted by seeing page after page of scary text. He focuses on one page of words at a time. He concentrates on and enjoys the story. Taking away fear and distractions can make all the difference for some readers.
9. Unofficial reason – you can buy books for yourself.
10. The Kindle screen is a flat surface that does not bend. Having a consistent, static, flat surface will help the reader.
11. My son uses the dictionary function frequently to look up words.
Post update regarding the Kindle Fire. In my opinion if you are considering getting a Kindle for your young reader, get a plain, grey eink device. Having games, movies, and apps just a click away is too much of a temptation.
I also do not like the idea of saying “read for ten minutes then you can play games.” This sets up the idea that reading is a chore, everything else is more fun, I have to get through this icky stuff then move onto fun things. You can read more about how I helped my son to read in this post: Encouraging Young Struggling Readers – A Mom’s Perspective
Back to the Kindle…
The screen is also easy on the eyes due to the e ink technology. Here is a close up of the display.
Hopefully this blog post was helpful.
I’ve created a BLOG POST of great ebooks for middle school and high school aged boys who are struggling readers. I plan to do another one for girls soon.
The Kindle costs around $100. You’ve invested a lot of time and effort in your son or daughter’s education. I think a Kindle is worth every penny. To read more about the device, CLICK HERE. That will bring you to Amazon US.
To see the page on Amazon UK CLICK HERE.
I feel very fortunate that my son is able to access this technology. Not only does he have great teachers in his life, but he also has so many resources as well.
I’d love to send out a final request to any young adult and middle grade authors who may be reading this post – find out the Lexile score or reading level of your book (not the age interest) and list it in your description – please.
If I’ve helped convince you to purchase a Kindle for your struggling reader, please consider shopping through one of my Amazon links. If you click through any Amazon link on this site and then purchase any item (Kindles, ebooks, regular books, shoes) on Amazon, I will earn a small (tiny) advertising fee. It will help support my Kindle ebook habit. Thank you so much for your consideration. You can read more on my Privacy Page.